Gators set to battle human nature

Florida coach Billy Donovan was interested to see how his team would respond earlier in the current winning streak. Now that the Gators have ripped off a streak of 17 straight wins, including a sweep of last week's road games at Kentucky and Tennessee, the intrigue continues. The senior-laden Gators have to fight human nature and continue preparing the way that has brought them to this point.

It's the challenge that Billy Donovan has enjoyed going through in recent years. Last season's team didn't handle it well. The Gators jumped to No. 2 in the polls last year and traveled to Arkansas before being dealt an 11-point loss. They read the headlines and believed the hype that came from the national media.

This year's team is hoping to avoid it. They've done well with it, continuing to focus on the process of preparation and attacking it with the focus Donovan demands. But after leaving the toughest week on the SEC schedule with two wins, it's still an intriguing situation for the Florida head coach.

"For any coach, that's a constant battle in trying to deal with moving to the next thing," Donovan said on Monday. "The key is, are our guys willing and prepared today to start all over again in the process of getting ready to play Wednesday night and be willing not to skip steps?"

That includes the same steps they've used before every game this season. Donovan wants the same time spent in the film room with the same amount of attention to detail, the same focus and attention shown during warm ups before practice.

"It was two really good wins for our guys," Donovan said. "But right now they don't mean anything as it relates to going into this next game against Auburn. Are we willing to take ourselves all the way to the bottom and realize they're we're starting off at the bottom and now we have to build and prepare for this next game? And then after the Auburn game, are you prepared to go all the way back down to the cellar again and have to prepare and have to go back up?

"That is a tedious, grinding, fatiguing, hard process to go through. But it's one you have to go through in order to be successful."

It starts by showing the team where they improve. Donovan has always said that it's easier to teach a team and help them improve when the areas of improvement are shown after a win. The team still has its confidence but is more focused on improving when it goes through the joy of a win.

That's the good news for Donovan as the team hit the floor for practice on Monday. He still sees plenty of areas to improve and even laughed when asked if there were any areas that he wants to see get better.

The Florida coach went through his list, wanting better free throw shooting, pick-and-roll defense, on-ball defense, shooting and offensive execution.

"I don't think there's one area of the game right now that I couldn't tell you that we couldn't afford to use the opportunity to get better," Donovan said. "That's the challenge right now and you've got to have a group of guys that understand that they're chasing something that they may not be able to attain, but there's still that effort of trying to continually get better. And you've got to have guys that want that.

"It's very easy after a win to want to relax, or after a loss, to want to feel bad. But it's the next day, what have we got to do to get better? And a lot of that starts with their mentality and their approach."

INJURY REPORT: Florida point guard Kasey Hill is doubtful for Wednesday's game against Auburn. Hill tweaked his groin in the second half of Saturday's game at Kentucky. He did not practice on Monday and wasn't expected to practice on Tuesday.

If he isn't able to play, it puts the Gators in a familiar situation with only one healthy point guard. They dealt with it early in the season when Scottie Wilbekin was suspended, and soon after he came back, Hill missed two weeks with a high ankle sprain.

"We'll probably look at the three guys by committee," Donovan said about the backup point guard. "It will be Doe-Doe, DeVon Walker and Frazier. Those three guys, I say we'll probably look at using in someway when we take Scottie off the floor."

Wilbekin played 71 of a possible 80 minutes last week against Kentucky and Tennessee, and he won't be on the floor much if Hill doesn't play.

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